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New Opportunity for High-Skilled Foreign Nationals: Innovation Stream Pilot

In a recent development, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced significant changes to the immigration landscape, particularly concerning the Innovation Stream pilot program. This update aims to streamline the immigration process for foreign nationals employed in high-skilled occupations at Global Hypergrowth Project (GHP) employers.

What is the Innovation Stream?

The Innovation Stream is a part of Canada's efforts to attract and retain top talent in innovative industries. It provides a pathway for foreign nationals employed in high-skilled occupations at GHP employers to obtain employer-specific work permits for up to five years, under the designation of subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Unless extended, the Innovation Stream will be in place for 2 years, until March 22, 2026.

Key Highlights of the Update:

  • Labour Market Impact Assessment Exemption Administrative Code: New instructions have been issued to officers to facilitate the assessment and decision-making process for applications submitted under this exemption code.

  • Updated Landing Page: The landing page for categories under the Overview of work designated by the Minister [R205(c)(ii)] has been refreshed to incorporate instructions for the Innovation Stream, along with instructions for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program.

Understanding the Global Hypergrowth Project (GHP):

The GHP is a groundbreaking initiative launched by the Canadian government to propel innovative Canadian firms to global success. By providing tailored support to participating companies, the GHP powered by Innovation Canada aims to promote entrepreneurship, create jobs, and drive economic development.

How Does GHP Work?

  • Tailored Support: Each participating company receives personalized assistance from the government of Canada, who collaborates with a team of experts to address specific challenges and opportunities.

  • Key Areas of Support: The GHP offers assistance in various areas, including funding, international expansion, talent acquisition, procurement, and mentorship.

  • Custom Service Plan: Companies receive a custom service plan designed to meet their unique needs, along with facilitated connections to government support.

Selection Process:

The selection of firms for the GHP is carried out through a rigorous process overseen by an independent Selection Panel. This panel, comprised of prominent Canadian business leaders, evaluates firms based on criteria such as sustainability, competitive advantage, and Intellectual Property assets. The selected firms are then recommended to the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

The selected firms are:

  • Ada

  • Alayecare

  • CellCarta

  • Clarius

  • Clio

  • Duchesnay Pharmaceutical Group

  • Lightspeed

  • Vive Crop Protection

What's Next?

With the introduction of the Innovation Stream pilot and the ongoing efforts of the Global Hypergrowth Project, Canada reaffirms its commitment to building a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship. Whether you're a high-skilled foreign national looking to contribute your expertise or a Canadian firm poised for growth, these initiatives offer exciting opportunities to thrive in today's dynamic global economy.

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